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Knowledge is Power... No... Power is POWER, (in acroyoga)!

I titled this with one of my favourite quotes and moments from Game of Thrones!


It's a really straight truth, and stark reminder (see what I did there :P) about the reality of power.


Anyway, today we are going further into the topic of power imbalances in acroyoga.

If you missed the previous email I would highly recommend going back and catching yourself up on it quickly.


In the previous email we covered what power imbalances are in acro, and why they occur.


We are for now focussing on typically male bases holding more power and female flyers having less power in partnerships.



So the big question is...

what can we do about it?

and how can we best address this?

plus even more importantly why it's in your interest to do so?


I believe redressing the balance of power has to come from all sides, not just 1 group or individual.


Bases need to learn to encourage equal voice, and empower their flyers.


Flyers need to learn to take greater responsibility of their safety, and point out if the voices are imbalanced.


Also teachers, community leaders and those more experienced acroyogis need to set an example and live and lead by these same principles.


So let's start with bases...



A few things I've found helpful in encouraging and empowering your flyers is:


To directly ask them to lead (lead a movement, or flow, or ask them what they want to train and work on). Whenever I do this, so much beautiful and wonderful movements and feelings come out of this.


  • To ask them what they are feeling and what they need (whilst we may see a bigger picture as a base, the flyer is feeling so much more than we do as a base, they have so much more kinaesthetic insight). Whenever I've struggled in some moves and asked the flyer what they are feeling they have many times identified the key issue quicker than I ever would have.


  • To fly the same thing yourself, mostly just for empathy of understanding how damn difficult it is, and then you can really put your ego or opinion to one-side and just listen to the flyers perspective with greater appreciation.


  • To ask them how they feel about the safety, as in do they want a spotter? Are they comfortable falling from this pose? Do they need you to do anything to help them to be more safe?



Next flyers, what can you do to help find a more balanced powerdynamic...

  • Take greater ownership and responsibility for safety. Whether that is being clear in saying no, or demanding a spotter, or learning to fall and roll better. I've heard many flyers say after a fall, that they should have asked for a spotter, but they weren't sure so didn't say anything. I have also had the pleasure of playing with some highly skilled and confident flyers who take full ownership and responsibility for their safety, and the dynamic of the partnership is completely different and it gives me added confidence as a base too.


  • Take the lead in communicating what you feel and what you need. Especially in terms of what can be improved and what was good, being more vocal and suggesting ideas based on what you think and feel.


  • Get used to leading and being in control (the base doesn't always need to lead and control each movement). It's cool as a base to feel when a flyer balances themselves or leads a washing machine movement, and I think exploring all of the aspects of leading and following in both roles is super empowering and helpful for finding the limits of your practice and skill.


As teachers, leaders and more experienced acroyogis...

It is our responsibility to set the example and show others a better way.


Especially the more experienced acroyogis, when you play with someone less experienced, whether you're a base, flyer, male or female.

Because of you're greater experience I believe you have an inherent responsibility for empowering, encouraging safe practices, encouraging communication, consent and equal power balance.


Even whilst you are leading or teaching someone less experienced you can still create a more balanced experience by asking them questions of what they feel, and rather than giving the answers or solutions directly, lead them to find their own answers.


Also as mentioned the reason WHY to work on balancing out the power in your acroyoga partnerships/practice is a pretty straightforward one...


Because it will make you a much better Acroyogi!


I've found much greater growth and longevity in my acro partnerships the more I have worked towards or found a balanced power dynamic.


I can genuinely notice and tell how this power balance has an impact on long term success of training together with a partner.

It brings benefits in terms of motivation, mindset, unity, enjoyment and many more factors.


So there is no reason not to work on improving this aspect of your practice.


Just to share my own experience too...


As a male base (mostly, I like to fly too sometimes :P) I am really trying to bring a lot of attention in my own practice and partnerships to really live what I preach, and set a good example.


It's a learning process and isn't perfect overnight, it's something I really became aware of only about after 1 year into my serious acro practice, and something I've been slowly trying to improve ever since.


I hope you found this useful, and if you have any questions or further thoughts about this topic don't hesitate to shoot me a message :)


P.S.


If you want to really improve your acro practice, learn more, or attend one of our retreats and events, then these are the best ways I can help you :)


1. You can learn about our product The AcroBack and order your very own here:


2. If you're interested in learning more about our personal acroyoga coaching online then you can find all of the info here, and book a free chat with me!


3. If you want to stay updated about our retreats, festival, and workshop events then our AcroSpirit Community Facebook Group is the best place to check.


Cheers,

Cas



Acrospirit

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